There are a variety of hair terminology where a glossary may be of use. We have created this site to help patients understand hair loss. If patients can better understand the hair loss process they will often select the best therapies for their hair condition.
Alphagraft: FUE device that uses a rotating punch to harvest follicles.
Alopecia: Loss of hair as a result of illness, functional disorder, or hereditary disposition. The medical term for hair loss.
Alopecia Areata: A disease that causes the body to form antibodies against some hair follicles. It can result from such factors as stress, genetics and the immune system. Alopecia Areata causes sudden smooth, circular patches of hair loss.
Alopecia Totalis: A condition that results in no hair on the scalp. It may begin as Alopecia Areata or some other cause.
Alopecia Universalis: A condition that results in no hair on any part of the body, this includes eyelashes, eyebrows, and scalp hair. It may develop as alopecia areata or result from another cause.
Anchor system of the follicular units: The structures that prevent the removal of the follicular group from the encircling tissue.
Anagen: First phase in the hair follicle cycle and is known as the “growing” phase.
Andro alopecia: Develops after puberty and causes a dramatic increase in androgen production.
Androgen: A steroid hormone that can be found naturally or synthetically that regulates the maintenance of male characteristics.
ARTAS: A robotic FUE (Follicular Unit Exchange) machine that uses complex algorithms from not just hundreds but thousands of cases to be compiled to create an improved ability to remove hair grafts using stereoscopic vision.
Autograft: A graft taken from your own body.
Beard Hair Transplant: Donor follicles are taking from the beard and transplanted into the scalp. Facial hair has a higher yield.
Body Hair Transplant: Donor follicles are taking from other parts of the body and transplanted back into the receiving areas.
Broken Follicle: A split somewhere on the shaft of the follicle due to stress on the follicle.
Cobblestoning: “Plugs” that have not healed flush with the skin and therefore have left the scalp lumpy.” Plugs” seldom heal flush with the skin. Cobblestoning occurs in almost all “plug” procedures.
Cortex: The layer of the hair shaft that surrounds the medulla and is filled with keratin fibers. The main structural part of the hair fiber that accounts for most of its size and strength.
Crown: The highest part of the head.
Connective-Tissue Sheath (CTS): Tissue structure that surrounds the hair follicle that is vital to the structure of the harvested hair bulb and follicle.
Dermal Papilla: The dermal papilla is situated at the base of the hair follicle. The dermal papilla contains nerves and blood vessels, which supply glucose for energy and amino acids to make keratin. This structure is extremely important in the regulation of hair growth since it has receptors for both androgens and hair-promoting agents.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): Endogenous androgen sex steroid and hormone that is responsible for the growth of body and facial hair.
Dermal Papilla: Located in the center of the hair follicle, these cells are responsible for the growth and formation during the hair cycle.
Donor Area: Hair follicles removed from non-balding occipital scalp and transplanted into affected areas.
Dutasteride: Medication used to treat an enlarged prostate gland that has side effects of increased DHT production.
5-Alpha-Reductase: The chemical that is responsible for transforming testosterone into dihydrotestosterone.
5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors: Prevent the body from converting testosterone to DHT by blocking the action of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
Finasteride: Oral inhibitor of DHT production and inhibits conversion of testosterone to DHT by more than 60% at dose of 1mg /day.
Follicular Bundle: When the hair follicles are close in proximity to one another and are separated by a space of other clusters of hair.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE): Removal of individual follicular units one by one and does not leave a linear scar.
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT): Strip of tissue (8-15mm wide and 20-30 cm long) surgically excised from occipital scalp under local anesthesia.
Formula 82M: A combination of 3 potent ingredients shown to be an alternative to oral propecia.
Formula 82s: A shampoo-conditioner product used to help prevent hair loss.
Hairline: The edge where the hair meets forehead.
Hair anatomy: The structure of the hair follicle consisting of three main segments (lower, middle, upper).
Hair cloning: Extracting hair follicles from the scalp, harvesting and duplicating, and transporting back into the scalp (Has yet to be approved by the FDA).
Hair Integration: See hair weaving.
Hair lifecycle: The three phases the hair follicle goes throughout its lifetime (anagen, catagen, telogen).
Individual group harvesting: Harvesting a bundle of hair follicles based upon their location to one another. They contain one or more hair follicular units.
Infundibulum: The superior, or highest portion, of the hair follicle.
Inner Root Sheath (IRS): Responsible for surrounding the inferior portion of the hair shaft protecting the growing hair follicle.
LaserCap: Dome-shaped, hermetically sealed membrane that withholds 224 individual 650nm 5mW lasers.
Light therapy (LLLT): Alternative medicine that applies laser therapy to certain parts of the body.
Miniaturization: The destructive process by which DHT shinks hair follicles, key marker of androgenetic alopecia.
Minigraft: A small hair graft consisting of three to eight follicles each.
Minoxidil: A prescription medication taken orally for the treatment of high blood pressure and used topically to retard hair loss and/ or encourage hair growth. Generic name for Rogaine.
NeoGraft: Motorized rotating device using negative and positive pressure mounted on a right angled arm piece.
Oral finasteride: Oral inhibitor of DHT production that inhibits conversion of testosterone to DHT by more than 60% at dose of 1mg /day.
Outer Root Sheath (ORS): The outer root sheath is responsible for enclosing the inner root sheath protecting the hair shaft.
Regular FUE: (Follicular Unit Exchange) a handheld tool is used to extract and obtain each individual hair follicle.
Rotating extraction: Repetitive 360 degree cycle that penetrates the surrounding skin of the follicle.
Paring: The grafts that are torn from CTS, ORS, or IRS and are lacerated by the cutting edge of a sharp punch.
Partial follicular family harvesting: (Vertical split harvesting) splitting then extracting a follicular unit leaving part of the follicle in the donor area and the other part is used for harvesting.
Pluck: When one or more hair follicle is pulled using forceps and without breaking the skin.
Subfollicular group graft: An extracted portion of the follicular group that remains in the donor area.
Surgery: Permanent improvement with hair transplant using follicular units.
Splitting: The separation of hair follicles located in a bundle, the extraction will contain less follicles that were in the original bundle.
Splay: Divergence of two hair follicles from each other creating a split in the lower end of the follicular unit.
Telogen: The last phase of the hair follicle cycle and is known as the “falling out” phase.
Telogen Effluvium: The second most common form of hair loss (androgenetic alopecia is the first). A condition that causes an increased number of hairs to enter the telogen, or resting phase. The additional shedding usually occurs in response to various stresses such as emotional trauma, post-pregnancy and illness, major surgery, certain medications. Telogen effluvium can be delayed (occurring a few months after the stressful incident) or chronic (unresolved).
Telogen Loss: Loss of hair during resting phase of hair or “natural” loss.
Temporal Recession: Hair loss in the temple region.
Terminal Hair: The coarser, pigmented hair that appears on the scalp, face, armpits, and pubic areas.
Testosterone: The male hormone which is released by both the adrenal gland and the testicles, promotes the development of male characteristics.
Tethering: The attachment of the CTS and the ORS to the encircling tissue of the hair follicle.
Theory of Donor Dominance: Scientific basis for hair transplantation stating that hair’s genetic code resides within the hair follicle and not in the recipient site into which it is transplanted.
Topical minoxidil: Promotes hair growth by increasing duration of anagen by shortening telogen and enlarging miniaturized follicles.
Transection: Breakage anywhere on the shaft of a hair follicle.
Traction Alopecia: This refers to hair loss which occurs do to traction placed on hair. Traction alopecia is commonly seen with braids, pony tails and other hairstyles which create traction on the scalp.
Trimming: The removal of the dermis and other perifollicular tissues in order to make the graft thinner.
Vertex: The crown area of the scalp.